The Adventure Time series will be my series of creating a big project. I will talk about the different technologies I use, the many problems I encounter and the solutions I find. So stay tuned to see what is to come.
I am aspiring to create two NodeBots! I don’t want to delve into what the finished product will be.. because then you wont follow a long the Adventure Time series to see how it all ends, however I will give you a little detail:
- Both of my NodeBots will be created using an Arduino
- They will have similar functionalities but they will serve different purposes — two different age groups as well
- They will both require additional hardware
- And most of all they will be a lot of fun
Moving on… When using an Arduino and adding additional hardware and creating a circuit of some sort, what is needed? A breadboard. If you are like me, and only majored in Computer Science where circuitry and small components of Electrical Engineering were not covered, then that means you have no idea what a breadboard really does or how it really functions. Do not worry you are not alone, I was just you five minutes ago! But now you can be me (five minutes later) and have a better understanding of breadboards!
So here is your breadboard! The three parts we will focus on are the Power Rails, Terminal Strips and DIP Support.
- Power Rails: On the right and left side of the breadboard are two rows labeled with a ‘+’ sign and a ‘-‘sign. These four rows are used for exactly what they seem like, power. Breadboards do not have their own power supply, so usually these strips are used to connect the breadboards with an Arduino, a battery pack or any other form of power supply. Keep in mind that when you connect your power supply to one of the power rails, it has only added power to one side of the breadboard. You can connect both power rails and have the whole breadboard using that one power supply by doing this:
- Terminal Strips: The terminal strips are the horizontal numbered rows of holes in the middle of the breadboard. Underneath these holes are metal strips used to electrically connect all wires in the same row. So for example, any component placed in row 8 column a is electrically connected to any component placed in row 8 column d. However, neither of the two components are connected to a component placed in row 8 column g. The gap in the middle splits each row, causing only five components to be electrically connected at one time. Any components that are in the same row and are in columns a thru e OR f thru j are electrically connected, but not the whole row.
- DIP Support: The gap in the middle of the board that splits the rows in two is the DIP support. It is used to support DIP chips: I feel like putting this into my own words will be a bit complicated, so here is a quote from Sparkfun:
- “These DIP chips (salsa anyone?) have legs that come out of both sides and fit perfectly over that ravine. Since each leg on the IC is unique, we don’t want both sides to be connected to each other. That is where the separation in the middle of the board comes in handy. Thus, we can connect components to each side of the IC without interfering with the functionality of the leg on the opposite side.” (Sparkfun, https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/how-to-use-a-breadboard)
And that concludes my basic training for learning about them! Here are some tutorials to get you started on using them:
Also if you are really hoping to delve into circuitry, it is important to understand how to read and interpret schematics. Schematics are diagrams that are used to design and build circuits. If you want to learn more about it, check out this link!